Prayers

Prayer: 

Loving God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

You did not make us to be just creatures, you made us to be your children,

And everything you do, you do to enable us to stand tall as your children.

To stand firm and be counted.

And we stand tall, not in our own strength, but because of your mercy and grace.

You give us all we need to be your children, your forgiveness, your love and our salvation.

And you do not leave us to stand alone, for you live in us, and you constantly watch over us.

We see your reflection in each other, and together we are strong.

So, Lord, we will stand firm in the face of the darkness that surrounds us,

We will stand firm and watch for what you will do.

We will stand firm for others, and we will stand firm for you.

We will allow your Spirit in us to strengthen us, and make us what you would have us be,

So that we are able to shine through the darkness,

And others will see your reflection in us,

And we will give you the glory.  

Amen

Anne Wilde, 06/04/2020

 

Prayer:

Great Shepherd of the sheep, we don’t know where we are going right now,
Where the valley we are walking through will lead us,
How long we must travel along it, and what life will be like when we come out the other side.
What we do know is that we do not travel alone, Lord Jesus, you travel with us,
Indeed, you lead us, so that whatever we face you are there alongside us,
And you provide that ‘balm’, that soothing ointment for our spirits and souls.
Through the days when life seems hard and we wonder if we can carry on,
Pour your balm over us to give us your peace and your encouragement.
When we feel frustrated and imprisoned,
Pour your balm over us to give us your calm and your stillness.
When we feel frightened and confused,
Pour your balm over us to give us your love and your comfort.
When we feel abandoned and lonely,
Pour your balm over us to give us the sense of your presence.
We will walk through the valley in peace, when we walk with you.
Thank you, Great Shepherd.

Amen.

Anne Wilde, 05/04/2020

 

Hymn: As if you were not there (StF 724)

Prayer:

Almighty, Loving God,

We know from experience that new life is born from pain and struggle.

Before the baby can come into the world, it’s mother must give her whole self, body and mind,

she must labour and struggle to bring her child into the world.

Lord, right now the world is experiencing such struggle, such anguish, such pain, such loss,

We are experiencing the struggle, the anguish, the pain, the loss.

Sometimes our anxiety threatens to overwhelms us, our fear is almost tangible.

We are part of the world’s great struggle, that labouring.

 

Loving God, there can be no resurrection without a crucifixion.

You experienced isolation, rejection, deepest anguish and unspeakable pain,

And yet you came through it all to bring us victory,

You laboured on until you brought new life into the world.

 

Help us to keep our eyes fixed on the prize,

To believe that our struggles, our fears and pain will, in your time,

Result in new life, for us and for our world;

That this great sorrow will not be in vain.

We pray that the new life that emerges will be a better life than the old one.

Where all are respected and there are fair shares for all,

And we can rejoice that we played our part in bringing about your new creation.

Amen.

Anne Wilde, 03/04/2020

 

Hymn:  ‘When, O God, our faith is tested.’ (StF 643)

Prayer:

Gracious, mighty and majestic God,

why did we not realise that you could not stand by

and watch us destroying this beautiful planet you made for our home?

Why did we not realise that the world is yours first and foremost and only given to us on lease?

Why did we not realise that we are called to be stewards and not controllers of the earth?

Lord, as we try to make sense of what is going on across the world,

As we ask ‘Why?’

As we wonder if you have forsaken us,

or maybe wonder if you are a God who punishes us,

As we fight with all our might to combat and overcome this dreadful virus,

We discover the earth is healing and resting and being renewed.

And we recall that there is no equal to you, you are above all, and beyond all.

We hear the words: ‘The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.’

We also hear your promise to give strength to the weary and power to the weak,

And we remember that it was to this world that you gave your only Son,

that we might not perish but have everlasting life.

You who are beyond all and above all,

are also a God of love amongst us and within us in your Spirit,

with us throughout all the trails of our lives,

in us in our struggles and confusion.

And you are stronger than the strongest virus, even stronger than death itself.

And you are our God. Alleluia!

Amen.

Anne Wilde, 02/04/2020

 

‘Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.’     Habakkuk 3,17-18

It’s so easy to praise you, Lord, for abundance, for good health, for cups filled to the brim.

How could we not delight in your overflowing grace, your endless blessings to us?

How simple it is to give thanks for the gift of fellowship, families and friends gathered together, for a friendly pat on the shoulder, a kiss.

Teach us, Lord, to praise you and be grateful also when our cups are empty and thirst seems to be unending. Help us to find joy in tiny sips, tiny steps, join our hands together, so that working alongside you we can recreate abundance, fill hearts and minds with your peace and your love.

Amen

Krystyna Kwarciak, 01/04/2020

 

Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, That hovers over its young, He spread His wings and caught them, He carried them on His pinions.Job 39:2

Loving God, I’m worn out by waiting, tired of my thoughts, overwhelmed by all the tragedy in the news, wherever I turn there’s so much struggle, so much pain. I run to you believing that you will make me strong again, that your breath will blow through me so I can not just fly, but soar. With my eyes fixed on you, Lord, with you walking beside me, working through me, I know I can make it. Fill me with your power, lift my spirit up to the heights so I can catch a glimpse of your glory and your peace. Guide me, sustain me and all those I pray for, renew my commitment to your call. Amen

‘Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Saviour.’     Habakkuk 3,17-18

It’s so easy to praise you, Lord, for abundance, for good health, for cups filled to the brim.

How could we not delight in your overflowing grace, your endless blessings to us?

How simple it is to give thanks for the gift of fellowship, families and friends gathered together, for a friendly pat on the shoulder, a kiss.

Teach us, Lord, to praise you and be grateful also when our cups are empty and thirst seems to be unending. Help us to find joy in tiny sips, tiny steps, join our hands together, so that working alongside you we can recreate abundance, fill hearts and minds with your peace and your love.

Amen

Krystyna Kwarciak, 31/03/2020

 

‘Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.’ Luke 4,1

Just a few weeks ago we stood by clear waters, loving God, knowing who we were, who the church was and where we were going. Now we’re in the desert, it’s uncharted territory, severe and barren, a very lonely place. We don’t like this sense of foreboding emptiness, Lord, the rules here are different, the old ways don’t work, we have been stripped of our illusions, of growth, of plenty…why have you brought us here? This desert is too difficult.

In this dangerous place, this sacred space, in moments of stillness and uncertainty, our anxious thoughts and worries rise up to you like incense. Teach us to be listeners, Lord, humble, broken souls that walk where the wind of your Spirit blows. Remind us that Good news came from out of the desert. In the midst of waylessness and unknowing there is good news. You have brought us here to hear it, we are waiting for you to speak.

Amen

Krystyna Kwarciak, 30/03/2020

 

Loving God

You are with us

Suffering with us

Comforting us.

Help us to be still.

To listen to the birds singing

And feel the breeze on our faces.

Help us to listen to your quiet voice

Guiding us this day as we ask you for the things we need.

Amen.

Sue Rowe, 19/03/2020

 

Loving God,

I really don’t know what to think. It is so tiring

Every day a new announcement turning my world and everybody else’s upside down.

Plans are overthrown. There are people we love whom we can’t see or touch.

People who have been rightly told that they must hide from the world.

People who are panicking so much they make trophies out of loo paper.

All because of an unpredictable invisible scary virus
which could be anywhere and brought by anyone.

I feel out of control like a boat tossed on a stormy sea.

I shout “Jesus, Jesus, wake up can’t you see that we are drowning?

I want you to take back control for me to silence the storm and still the waves.

Yet in my heart of hearts I know the biggest storm and the greatest chaos is not outside in the world
but deep inside within me.

Loving God whatever the storm on the outside,
no matter how much chaos it may bring,
silence the storm within me
so that I have the strength and courage that Jesus showed
enabling me to deal calmly and lovingly with our changing world

and the growing needs of the people around me.

Amen

Ken Stokes, 18/03/2020

Bring peace, Lord, to the worried.

Bring calm, Lord, to the stressed.

Bring hope, Lord, to the downcast,

and to the tired, Lord,

grant them rest.

(written by John Birch, faithandworship.com)

Offered by Sue Williams, with photos from her garden, 18/03/2020

 

Loving God,

Is it a tickle, a random thing, of no consequence? Or do I want to cough?

A dry cough is bad news they say, it is enough to make me shiver.

But that is bad too, the sign of a temperature.

I just know I will be one of those one or two or however many percent that become seriously ill.

Someone must. I know it will be me.

I have made my fingers red and rough with the amount of washing I have done.

I am good with everyone’s illness except my own.

I can always imagine a thousand deaths.

So, my fear overcomes me, and I forget about other people

Especially the ones who are truly ill and the ones whose underlying health conditions make them more vulnerable.

Forgive me Jesus.

Remind me that you did not obsess about controlling everyone and everything.

You lived fully because you trusted that whatever life,

or death brought, God was there for you.

Remind me to recognise those who show courage and compassion like you.
The doctors, nurses and care workers working long hours often without enough protection yet still giving there all to save lives.

Help me to open myself to your love again, in the knowledge that your love casts out all fear.

Amen

Ken Stokes, 18/03/2020